Since we have been sourcing from makers in Vietnam, we have been visiting twice a year for the last 5 years or so. We stay in the same hotel year and year out, The Caravelle in Ho Chi Minh City. The Caravelle is under renovation at the moment which forced us to look outside our normal routine. Having such limited time in a city means that you want (and need) everything to run like clockwork too. We are both (JJ and I) mothers and don't have the time to spend weeks abroad away from our kids so planning is key.
JJ, our director, has an uncanny ability to scour the internet and unearth the most interesting, gorgeous and delicious any city in the world has to offer. So much so that her other dream job (apart from this one) is a travel agent! We checked in to our new digs in HCMC and were immediately in love with it's charm and felt perhaps she has missed her calling.
The Myst is centrally located in District One and close to lots of great ammenities and surrounds that HCMC has to offer. What we loved most about it was the design and detail that had a been imbued into every decision. Themed around the close proximity to the river, all things marine make their way lovingly into each room and communal space.
From the moment you arrive and crane your neck upwards, you can tell from the plants spilling out of every window and verandah that this is a special space. Then the enormous anchor in the lobby bar and greenery spilling from suspended boats greets you as you check in. The slatted pitched spinal roof in the foyer looks like it was recreated straight from the sea floor, the bathroom ceilings in the rooms echo this feature too. Small vintage windows with multi coloured glass are a repeated motif as well as vintage artefacts and ceramics (yay) throughout the hotel.
The roof top bar on the 12th floor offers a refreshing breeze if you are lucky and a view of the pool while you can snack on a delicious prawn and pomelo (our fav) salad and discuss the day passed.
Comfy huge king beds and a deck overlooking a small courtyard was our view which offered the sounds of birds and quite a change from the high rise closed pane glass of The Caravelle.
Quick, tasty and delicious food is a must on any sourcing trip as the days are incredibly long, starting long before the sun is up. As much as we enjoy the Vietnamese food, and Luke Nguyens' wonderful HCMC restaurant Vietnam House (a quick 5 minute walk from The Myst) - sometimes a tasty steak when you are tired restores the body and mind. Moobeefsteak is a new discovery and very close to the hotel, the Jones girls highly recommend it!